Movies - TV
Finishing Bram Stoker’s Dracula Was A Pain In The Neck For Francis Ford Coppola
By JEREMY SMITH
Francis Ford Coppola is inarguably one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, but his creative process can be exhausting. 1992’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” seemed to be a promising job, buoyed by a well-regarded screenplay and powerhouse cast including Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, and Keanu Reeves, yet the film nearly resulted in disaster.
As promising as the film seemed, things quickly turned sour. By the end of shooting, Ryder who played Mina and Oldman who played Dracula weren’t speaking to each other. This issue became pressing when Coppola and screenwriter James V. Hart watched the test screening and agreed that the film was unwatchable and reshoots were needed.
Hart remembers the conversation when Coppola told him, “He hates the film, hates the script, hates me for writing it… and wants to show me the film to prove it.” Hart recalled, “For 2 hours and 10 minutes, I watched the worst piece of film I had ever seen. The one I wrote…I confirmed his opinion; ‘I hate you, I hate the script… I hate myself for writing it…”
Hart and Coppola were unsure how to fix the film until George Lucas pointed out that the problem was the film's end. The team reworked the ending to have Mina cut off Dracula’s head, which Ryder was happy to do considering her friction with Oldman. The movie opened on November 13, and even 30 years later, it is still considered one of the best vampire movies ever made.